We sometimes tend to outsource the simple tasks hoping to free up more time to enjoy life. Our "convenience culture" allows for almost anything to be done for us, and in many cases for not that much cost. New apps and technology allow us to with the click of a button, have our homes cleaned, our food delivered, our lawns and gardens manicured. Many of us are lucky to have these options, allowing more time for work/life balance. But I wonder how much of this outsourcing is effecting our overall well-being and psyche?
Today, I decided not to call the gardener as usual, but to mow the lawn myself. It was a nice day, and I figured "why not?". Sure, it took some time away from other things that needed to get done. Alternatively, I could also have spent the hour relaxing or doing something else that would fulfill my desire for some "me time". However, what I noticed is that while doing this task, my mind wandered...I started to create ideas. I started to look at things in my yard I hadn't seen before. I realized how much I actually appreciated the joy of doing this mundane task.... one which I have been outsourcing for a good part of my adult life.
This simple task of mowing my lawn created such a great feeling of pride & accomplishment. As I looked at the green grass when I was done.... I felt I had really finished something, and made something better. Something that others can enjoy too!
We tend to work in jobs or careers that are a never-ending cycle of doing things, but without ever really having a feeling of accomplishment or completion. Either the results take a long time, or we aren't even really sure how we contributed to the end result anyway. In addition, simple tasks we may have done before are being done for us with the help or automatic machines... making our life simpler, but are they making us happier?
What are you currently outsourcing that can bring you joy?
- Are you ordering your groceries online and not having the opportunity to walk down the aisles, talking with people, or smelling the flowers and produce?
- Are you ordering books or other items online rather than the experience of strolling through a store and exploring new things you may not have found otherwise?
- Are you getting your car washed automatically, when it can be a fun thing to do with your partner or your kids on a hot day?
- Are you having someone or something (lawn robot) tend to your garden or plants rather than experiencing the joy of tending to them yourself and watching them grow due to your loving care?
Sure, there are things we just don't want to do ...and we would rather outsource the task and spend time doing something we love more. So keep doing that if you have the possibility!
However, maybe you can experiment one day:
- Do something yourself that normally you would outsource.
- Invite others along if you can to spend time together while tasking.
- See how you feel afterwards.
- What did you miss out on by taking the time to do this?
- Was it worth it?
- What other simple tasks are you not doing that can bring you joy?
As life gets easier thanks to technology, it is also significantly changing the way we spend our time. There may be joyful experiences that are right under your nose..... don't miss out on them.